What Kind of Butt-Dialer Are YOU?

Call me maybe


Butt dialing is a dangerous game — it’s no longer the innocuous accident of early cellphone yore, but rather a ring wrapped up with more potential for anxiety than an unknown number calling the landline while you’re babysitting.

My dad once pocket-dialed his sister. He left one of those muffled crunch crunch slam crunch voicemails that most would identify as a PD but she took to mean: he’d been kidnapped and was trying to call her while bound from the trunk of a car. Once she figured out he was alive, she was furious at him for causing her to panic. Rational? No. But the fault of my reckless pocket-dialing father? Absolutely.

The truth is, we’ve all been purse/pocket/butt dialers at some point in our lives. And we’ve probably almost ruined someone’s day because of it. But as with many problems in life, the first step in finding a solution is addressing the issue. So. Let’s hold hands and get through this together — ready? What kind are you?

Top of the Alphabet Dialer (TAD)

TADS are the most common kind of pocket dialer because phones are logical and apparently asses are too, calling the first few individuals who sit at the top of everyone’s contact list.

But just so you know…you are the bane of all your A-named-friends’ existences.

The FaceTimer

The only thing more awkward than getting a butt-dialed FaceTime call is answering a butt-dialed FaceTime call. It’s like running into someone on the street that you didn’t want to see, and one or both of you is naked.

The Recent Callers-Caller

I get it, easy mistake, you were just on the phone with this person and probably didn’t hang-up properly so your phone immediately called them back. But be careful: because you just spoke, the other person is far likelier to pick up, which means that you have a serious chance of being caught talking shit. And the excuse, “Oh, I was talking about the otherrr Dikembe Mutombo,” usually doesn’t work.

The Possessed

Look. I get it. These phones have a mind of their own and can make a call to the West Indies from your purse when you swore that shit was on lock. It’s not your fault…but the recipient will blame you regardless.

The Cover Artist

If you’ve ever accidentally called someone, and then they’ve answered, you have two options: 1) hang up or 2) attempt to cover it up. “Oh HEY Carol…yes it is strange that we haven’t spoken since I ran over your pet turtle with my lawnmower but you know, I was just wondering what you’ve been up to and thought I’d give ya a little call.” Guys. Be kind. Just hang up.

The Liar

Butt dialing is no joke and using it as an excuse is insensitive. Besides, “Oops! Didn’t mean to butt dial you!” typically does not work when you’ve called your ex a casual 800 times on repeat around 3 AM, unless you’re someone’s grandma, in which case, we defer to “the possessed.”

The Voicemail Leaver

I’ve already illustrated above how leaving a rogue voicemail can be dangerous, but to those 45-and-under, it’s mostly annoyingChecking voicemail is awful. I would rather play frisbee with a steak knife than check mine. Even worse: because no one’s going to open the message for at least 3 weeks, your stupid butt-dial will contribute to his or her iPhone’s acne problem with that god-forsaken red dot signaling, “5 new voicemails!”…from your butt.

The Non-Pocket Dialer

If you’ve never pocket-dialed someone, then you’re probably a highly upstanding and organized citizen who miraculously doesn’t do other common things, like lose one sock in the laundry or forget to shower. Who are you, and can you teach us your ways?

In these sartorially glorious days of pockets-aplenty, where walking around like human kangaroos is a reality, it’s almost impossible not to accidentally butt-dial your boss. Who cares. Everyone does it.

Just pray you don’t fart.

Illustration by Charlotte Fassler

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  • Tiffany

    Until now, I always put them into a butt-catch-all kind of file, but I like your BDB– butt-dial-breakdown!

  • GapToothedGirl

    I’m learning from a great mistake… Now on my cellphone my first number is a fake number…just in case my iphone call the first name… Now I’m smart ;-))

    XOX, Gap.


  • Dominique

    though question..



  • amalieilund

    As an A-named friend I get butt-dialled a lot and it is not funny… Voicemails are the worst!

  • “Oh, I was talking about the otherrr Dikembe Mutombo,”

    I am in tears. Good tears though

    O. R. R.

  • MLN


    • Charlotte Fassler


  • Amelia Whitworth

    I boob dialed someone during a “romantic” encounter and left a voicemail, the recipient? My friend’s brother who was serving a mormon mission.

    • Amelia Diamond

      phone in bra?

  • Bronte Mac

    I get butt dialed from my mum on a day to day basis, she leaves her phone in her back pocket and her mode of transport is a bike. Just imagine.

  • hahaha awesome post!

  • Francisc

    I hate when it happens, it’s so not funny!


    • Amelia Diamond

      it becomessss funny

  • virginia

    it’s not technically butt-dialing but my toddler tends to play with my phone a lot. I now regularly get called back by friends who found a missed call from me at 6 am etc..

  • one time i butt-texted my friend so hard I used up ALL HER MINUTES. The shaaaaaaame was endless.

  • Sally

    I have never butt-dialed anyone but I have that irrational fear of calling or texting someone while I am asleep, that’s why I don’t sleep with my phone near my head anymore 😀

    • Amelia Diamond

      you’re scared of sleep calling??

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    When I first started dating my boyfriend, in that stage where you really really don’t want to look like an idiot yet, My phone, which was INSIDE my bag, bizarrely started calling my boyfriend’s office number repeatedly. His office manager had to call one of his assistants, who was with me at the time, to tell me that I had called 6x and to please stop because it was tying up one of their lines. I wanted to crawl under a rock.

  • Suzanne Stal

    The only time I purse-dialed someone was an epic one. I was in the car and my phone on “lock” in my purse, or was it… I was about to start with the second act of my wonderfull Lady Gaga imitation singing along with her CD, singing meaning screaming. Unknown to me I called my ex-mother-in-law, ex-roommate and (thank god, could it get any worse) good friend and apparently left them all a voicemail with a lenght of 1 to 3 minutes. To this day if have never received a compliment about my singing from them..

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Maddie

    Always kind of a downer when I really enthusiastically answer the phone or answer in a weird voice/inside joke and then realize it’s a butt-dial. :-

    • Amelia Diamond

      THE worst

  • bumblejeaniepie

    About 8 years ago I was with a guy who I considered my boyfriend at the time, though he wasn’t really even much of a friend, much less a boyfriend.. anyway, we were goin’ at it in the back of my 98 Nissan Altima (sp?) somewhere in San Francisco and he pocket dialed his ex-girlfriend, who was a real girlfriend that he had dated for years and in fact never really stopped dating, in that official way that “dating” stops/begins/whatever. She got a good long voicemail. A few weeks later, I met her. She threatened me, wanted to fight me.. we ended up sharing a cigarette and then burning his jacket outside of a bar in the middle of a cold-ass SF night.

    • Amelia Diamond

      sisterhood prevails! must have been an ugly jacket.

  • Caline da Bine

    I pocket FaceTimed a guy I met online and went out with once, months before. Why did I still have his details in my phone??? Lesson learned!

  • i don’t get how pocket dialling is still a problem, doesn’t everyone have a password on their phones? i don’t know one person who doesn’t so pocket dialling shouldn’t really be happening. though saying that, my iphone off/lock button stopped working a few months ago so i now have this little icon on my phone which i have to click and instruct my phone to lock, i can’t ever be bothered to go through this so it has bag-dialled and whats worse it was facetime so when i heard a voice coming from my phone, i grabbed it only to be scared shit by the site of my face on my phone…suffice to say, i always go through the trivial task of locking my phone from now on.

    • Amelia Diamond

      mine still does it even though i have a password!